Carl Erling Johnson

June 15, 1926October 4, 2013

Erling Johnson passed away peacefully on Friday, October 4, 2013, at the age of 87.

Carl “Erling” Johnson was born June 15, 1926 in Bellingham, Washington to Swedish immigrant parents, Charles Lenius Johnson and Hjilma Marie Olson Johnson. Erling grew up with his older brother Larry working along side his father in many building projects. Erling attended the “Normal School” on the campus of what is now Western Washington University. At Bellingham High School, Erling excelled in football and basketball as a “Bellingham Red Raider”. Upon graduating in 1945, Erling enlisted in the Air Force and proudly served his country stationed at Okinawa, Japan as a B-29 mechanic.

In 1947, Erling enrolled in the University of Washington and became part of the Husky football tradition. He played defensive end and linebacker for the Huskies from 1947-1951 when he graduated. Erling was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity where he made many life-long friends. After graduation, Erling continued playing football for the semi-pro team, Seattle Ramblers. In 2006, Erling was inducted into the Pacific Northwest Football Hall of Fame.

On July 10, 1954, Erling married the love of his life, Phyllis Joanne Erickson. Erling and Phyllis went on to have three boys, Darrell, Keith and Warren. They raised their family in their beautiful north Seattle home and spent many happy times working on projects, spending the weekends skiing, boating, golfing, and most of all attending Husky football games.

Erling served the construction industry for over 50 years as an independent Manufacturer’s Representative, enjoying a fulfilling career as a business owner with his wife and sons Keith and Darrell. Erling was involved with the NW Rental Association and the American Rental Association. Erling held life-long memberships with the Washington Athletic Club and Elks Club. He was a former member of Sand Point Country Club and a current member of Skagit Golf & Country Club. Not one to retire, Erling worked along side his family until his recent decline from dementia related illness.

Erling and Phyllis enjoyed time at their beach house in LaConner, Washington, gathering the family for 4th of July celebrations, Thanksgiving dinners, and summers of boating and catching as many Dungeness crab as legally possible.

Erling is survived by his wife of almost 60 years, Phyllis, sons Darrell (JoAnn), Keith (Cindy), Warren (Maureen); six grandchildren, Diana, Eric, Kenny, Michael, Andy, and Peter. He is also survived by his brother Larry (Naomi) and his family, and sister-in-law Helen Marie Harris and her family.

Memorial services will be held on Thursday, October 17th at Lake Forest Park Presbyterian Church. Please join the family for the memorial at 2:00pm, with reception to follow. Arrangements made by Acacia Funeral Home.

Remembrances may be made in Erling’s name to the UW Medicine Neurosciences Institute or the Alzheimer’s Association.


  • Viewing Thursday, October 17, 2013
  • Family Cryptside Service Thursday, October 17, 2013
  • Memorial Celebration Thursday, October 17, 2013
  • Reception Thursday, October 17, 2013

Carl Erling Johnson

have a memory or condolence to add?


receive updates when new memories are posted


December 12, 2013

Dear Phyllis. We ar thinking of you and
your family.
Best regards from Sweden
Stig Johansson and Gunilla

Dale Karr

October 18, 2013

Great to know and share ice-cream with you and good job raising the kids.
Dale & Nancy Karr

Diana Johnson

October 17, 2013

Grandpa Erling laid a lot of the foundation for the person I've become and the good traits I've developed. I'm eternally grateful to have grown up with such an outstanding role model and an endless source of support. Thank you grandpa for all our fun memories together - I love you!!

Joyce Ball

October 15, 2013

Dear Phyllis and Family, Erling is still in our memories and always will be. Love to you all, Joyce

October 15, 2013

Our condolences to you and Phyllis from Fujie and Roger. We will not make the funeral services.

Violet Anderson (Tokareff)

October 15, 2013

Phyllis, Darrell, Keith, Warren and family, My thoughts and prayers are with you all. What a great family Erling has in all of you.

Darrell Johnson

October 15, 2013

May you rest in peace Dad.

Sig Olney

October 15, 2013

I knew Erling since 1958. He was among the most respected men in the construction equipment and rental industries, with a great reputation for integrity.
Erling and Phyllis often joined my wife and me for golf, football games, good times in Palm Springs. He was a great friend, family man and athlete, always remembered. My thoughts are with Phyllis and all the family.

Bryan Johnson

October 14, 2013

Phyllis, Darrell, Keith, Warren and Family...

Erling is an inspiration to us all, he will be with us always.
Uncle Erling is the example of what we all strive to be. He is strong, committed, honest, warm, loving, humble, funny, soft spoken, involved, a good friend, Father, Husband, Brother, Uncle, Grandfather. Erling holds a very firm place in my heart and has played a very key role in my life. We love you very much Erling and look forward to the day we will all see you again.
Thank you for being a inspirational part of my life!

Bryan and Family

October 14, 2013

Phyllis, Keith, Darrell and Warren, we want to send you our love, thoughts and prayers.
We know Erling is in a wonderful place and we praise God for his long happy life.
He will be missed.

Our love, Bob and Kay Shelts